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OC-06 Underwater Vehicles, Systems & Hyperbaric Facilities

The SNAME Technical and Research Program (T&R) - Marine Systems Committee, Panel MS-2 (Submersibles) was established in 1975 to further the research and knowledge development efforts in the field of manned submersibles. This panel was established at a time when the use of manned submersibles for commercial and scientific applications had reached its zenith, and there were over one hundred of these units operating worldwide.
In the mid-1970’s, Panel MS-2 initiated a project to develop a detailed textbook on manned submersibles in order to fill a major knowledge gap in the area of manned submersible technology. At that time, there was a limited amount of manned submersible related technical material in the SNAME textbooks “Principles of Naval Architecture” and “Ship Design and Construction”. The efforts of Panel MS-2 led to the development of the first draft of this textbook in June 1986, and the book was tentatively titled “Submersible Vehicle Systems Design”.
In February 1987, the Society’s Executive Committee unanimously endorsed publishing the textbook “Submersible Vehicle Systems Design” and the final publication procedures commenced. The first edition of this textbook was published in 1990, and to this day continues to serve as one of the primary references for underwater industry professionals as well as graduate and undergraduate students. This textbook is affectionately referred to as the “The Orange Book” due to its distinctive orange colored cover.
In 1986, Panel MS-2 was absorbed into the newly created SNAME T&R Offshore Committee, Panel OC-6 (Submersibles and Diving Equipment). Panel OC-6 has a broader scope as compared to Panel MS-2, and is intended to contribute to the research and knowledge development efforts in the areas of manned and unmanned submersibles, as well as diving related equipment and systems. Mr. John A. Pritzlaff of Westinghouse Oceanic served as the Chair of Panel MS-2 since its inception in 1975 through 1985, and he subsequently served as the Chair of Panel OC-6 from 1986 till the time of his passing in June 2013. Panel OC-6 was dormant from the latter half of 2013 through September 2019, and was reactivated in October 2019 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Roy Thomas of ABS.
In the 30 years since the publication of “Submersible Vehicle Systems Design”, there have been various developments in the field of manned submersibles. These include technological advances, updated requirements in Class Society rules and industry standards, and the development of specialized types of submersibles such as underwater flying submersibles and hadal zone rated submersibles. Additionally, the field of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) or undersea drones has been rapidly developing.
In order to address these developments, Panel OC-6 initiated a project in early 2020 to update the textbook “Submersible Vehicle Systems Design”. Based on extensive discussions with technical experts and members of the industry, it was proposed that this textbook be further developed as a multiple volume book titled “Principles of Underwater Intervention”, that would address underwater applications such as AUVs, ROVs and diving systems, in addition to manned submersibles. The volumes that are proposed to be developed under this initiative include the following:
Principles of Underwater Intervention
• Volume I: General Principles
• Volume II: Manned Submersibles
• Volume III: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)
• Volume IV: Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs)
• Volume V: Diving Systems and Equipment
The initial stage of this project focuses on the development of Volumes I through III. Volumes IV and V of this textbook are intended to be further developed by Panel OC-6 after the completion and publication of Volumes I through III.
Members and industry experts who are interested in participating in this effort can contact the OC-6 Panel Chair, Roy Thomas by telephone at 281-877-6384 or by e-mail at

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Committee Members